This plastic was said to be incapable of being recycled, but U.K.-based company Gomi found a way nonetheless. Each Gomi speaker is made from about 100 non-recyclable plastic bags of multiple colors, creating a unique, individualized look. The sustainable design company won a 10,000-pound grant from the Environment Now Programme in January 2018 to kick-start the project and were funded further by the Santander Big Ideas Competition later that year.
Co-founded by Brighton-based sustainable designer Tom Meades, Gomi’s intention is to use plastic waste that would otherwise be considered non-recyclable (and therefore would end up in a landfill) to create electronic products. The U.K. throws away 300 kilos of flexible plastics that are not accepted for recycling by local councils each year. This includes plastic bags, pallet wrap and bubble wrap. Meades said the company was inspired to target the challenge of flexible plastics to show that these types of materials can be made into usable objects.
Because the design is modular, every piece of the speaker can be taken apart and recycled into a new one, so the company urges consumers to return the products for free recycling after use instead of throwing them out.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that these speakers won’t sound good because of their unconventional materials, either. “Our components are made from 100 percent non-recyclable plastic,” Meades said. “We have worked with audio professionals and electronics engineers over the past 12 months to ensure the product is not only aesthetically desirable but also sounds great.”
The company intends to only grow from here. Gomi is planning strategies to increase storage capability and produce on a larger scale in the future. It also unveiled a portable power bank and charger for smartphones made from the same material back in January. Check out the Kickstarter page to support the project or learn more.
Images via Gomi